Gabrielle Smith used to work for Millfield Haulage based in York, North Yorkshire and will be moving back into haulage once her daughter can go into childcare. Like many people in our industry, Gabrielle was introduced to trucking through her family.
“I chose to become a lorry driver because it’s in my blood. My mother and father are both HGV drivers, as was my grandad. I grew up in my mother’s wagon, travelled with her in a car seat, she was even still breastfeeding me in the wagon and I hardly spent any time at home. I knew at an early age that I wanted to be a driver.
“Once I had left school, I applied for my Class 2, did a bit of work for Millfield Haulage, got given Class 1 tests for my 19th birthday and passed first time. I was excited to crack on. For my first job the artic was loaded with bricks for five building sites across Stoke city centre, it was brilliant.
“I enjoy that every day is different. You get to work, sort your wagon out, get your load sorted then the day is yours. You are your own boss once you hit the road, responsible for your own breaks, rest stops and route planning.
“I love being in charge of a 44-tonne truck, the camaraderie of fellow truck drivers and taking time to relax and enjoy your time off with your truck driver mates. It’s no office job, the people you meet around the country, the places you go to – it’s exciting!
“It’s been great to meet my mum out on the road, we met up in Newart Truck Stop and had breakfast together with our trucks parked next to each other, it was so surreal. I now take my one-year-old little girl to see her grandma’s truck (which is pink) and she absolutely loves it!”